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Another Iconic Sydney Live Venue Is About To Shut Down

Written by Emmy Mack on August 4, 2015

Another week, another blow to the slowly decaying night life of the once vibrant Emerald City, with news coming through that the Lansdowne Hotel on the fringe of Sydney’s CBD, will be shutting its doors soon, much like this one, this one, this one and oh yeah this one, since Rex Banner Barry O’Farrell’s slew of alcohol lockout laws came into place.

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It seems the iconic den of grunge and good times will be closing its doors for good after 29th September, with the dude who runs drum ‘n’ bass event Afterlife posting to the Sydney DnB Facebook page:

“Bad news today I’m afraid, another iconic Sydney venue bites the dust… Farewell to The Landsdowne Hotel 1926 – 2015, its final date will be 29/09/2015.”

Venue owners the Oscars Group infamously pushed live music out of the spotlight at The Annandale Hotel last year, effectively relegating it to another fallen star in the increasingly black sky of Sydney’s live music scene. But rather than serving the Lansdowne up to greedy developers, it appears that Oscars has sold the land to a music school.

Music Feeds has unearthed a development application lodged to the City of Sydney, which appears to confirm that the Lansdowne’s corpse will be reanimated a school of music.

The DA for the land, which is currently on exhibition, proposes to “change of use of the Landsdowne Hotel to an education use (200 students) and associated alterations for new main entry from Knox Street, new signage, accessible ramp, internal lift, fire stair, multi-purpose hall, staff toilets, practice studios, ensemble rooms and administration office”.

The DA has been lodged by the Arc Education Group, which operates the Academy of Music and Performing Arts, which currently has a campus in Rozelle.

A spokesperson confirmed that the school would likely offer Bachelor of Music and other tertiary music degrees, and may include a recording studio and performance hall.

The Chippendale site falls outside Sydney’s lockout zone, and Oscars Group declined to comment on whether lockouts impacted their motives for the sale. In fact they refused to comment at all and apparently told Lansdowne staff to keep their traps shut as well.

But although The Lansdowne’s $5 steak lunches may be a thing of the past, punters can draw some solace from the fact that the beloved venue, which has been a pillar of the Sydney live music scene since 1926, will continue its proud ties with music.

Check out the floor plans for the proposed redevelopment below. Or, if you’re still feeling pissed off, you can sign this petition.

Correction: An original iteration of this article incorrectly affiliated the Australian Institute of Music (AIM) with the Arc Education Group and its affiliate the Academy of Music and Performing Arts (AMPA). AIM are not involved in the sale or the closing down of the Lansdowne Hotel.

“Although we support music education, we are sad to hear that such an iconic venue as the Landsdowne is closing its doors,” said a spokesperson for AIM in a statement to Music Feeds, while also gently reminding us that AIM Sydney Open Day is this Saturday, 8th August.

UPDATE 04/08/15: The new owners of The Lansdowne Arc Education Group have confirmed the sale of the hotel and have promised to honour the venue’s rich live music history.

Watch: I Am Duckeye – Punching Dicks Live @ The Lansdowne Hotel 2015

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